ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s crunch time for New Mexico’s professional soccer team to reel in the votes for a massive stadium in Albuquerque. Ads on TV are encouraging people to sign off on a bond for what they are calling the “people’s stadium.”
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- Legal battle reveals challenges with soccer stadium site
- New Mexico United stadium proposal to be on November ballot
- City council considers agreement for neighborhood impacted by possible soccer stadium
- Councilors push to explore city’s west side for United stadium
New Mexico United says, at this point, they’re the underdog but are urging people to vote on a $50 million bond on Nov. 2 to cover the lion’s share of a multipurpose soccer stadium.
“I think any stadium is good for the city- bring in jobs, revenue. And, it’ll give us something to do,” Howard Dixon of Albuquerque stated.
“This is a gross lack of priority on the part of the city,” one public commenter said during an August city council meeting.
With just weeks until the bond election, KRQE News 13 asked New Mexico United Owner Peter Trevisani where he thinks people stand on the vote.
“We’re the underdog,” Trevisani said. “We’re always going to be the underdog, but it’s the right thing to do and if enough people come out and say, ‘yes,’ it’s going to pass.'”
The ads promoting the so-called “people’s stadium” promise to create hundreds of jobs, while inviting other tenants in the city-owned stadium, subsidized with what would be a $30 million contribution from the soccer club. “The stadium doesn’t raise taxes, it creates 780 jobs, and it’s owned 100% by the city. It’s not a stadium for the United, it’s a stadium for the people,” Trevisani said.
Some people are arguing that millions to pay off the bond could instead be used to combat homelessness or crime. “We have so many other pressing issues that come before a stadium,” the public commenter said last month.
Others say having attractions like the stadium would draw more people and businesses to Albuquerque. Trevisani believes both are important.
The team is comparing this bond to the same process the Isotopes went through to build its stadium. Then-Mayor Jim Baca put the issue to a vote. Voters approved $25 million for project financing.
A study identified two preferred sites for the proposed 10,000 to 12,000 seat stadium: at Coal and Broadway, or at Second and Iron. The city has said it won’t pick a site unless or until voters sign off on the funding for it, and would also get community input.